Today Energy Transfer and Pennsylvania subsidiary Sunoco Pipeline LP scored another legal victory to continue construction on its Mariner East pipeline project. Once complete, the Mariner East system will be responsible for transporting natural gas liquids from Southwestern Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County for processing, storage, and transport to consumers.
Following a construction incident two weeks ago, State Environmental Hearing Board Judge Bernard Labuskes wrote that “Sunoco may restart drilling immediately” after operations were halted by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Despite misinformation pushed by pipeline opponents, the pipeline developer did not experience an inadvertent return as some have argued. As required by the permits granted for the pipeline’s construction, the incident was contained and the site was restored.
Construction is nearing completion across the 350 mile pipeline. Due to continued delays, construction in Chester and Delaware Counties will be the final active construction sites. Starts and stops are not conducive to construction of a major pipeline and have proven to negatively impact the environment in the past, not to mention the increased adversity they cause to construction.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“Judge Labuskes’ decision to allow construction to restart on the Mariner East pipeline validates the pipeline developer’s response to a recent incident and minimizes the negative environmental impact caused by unnecessary stops and starts. Resuming the last stages of the project’s construction in Southeast Pennsylvania will go a long ways to alleviate construction fatigue. And once operational the Mariner East pipeline will offer increased access to Pennsylvania’s natural resources alongside the consumer and commercial benefits.”